I hail from Houston where the humidity ruins my curls. I'm a true Houstonian, born and raised y'all.
Aaron and I shared our 20s together, and I love that part of our story. Sixteen years later, he can still walk into a room and make my heart skip a beat. Any of my flourishing is a result of him encouraging me to "go for it," and then backing up those words with constant support. Aaron's sacrifices, the skin he has put in the game, for my adventures, have been nothing short of love. We had a short season early on wondering if our marriage would last, mostly due to my struggle with depression and anxiety.
But we're Team Armstrong.
His wins and failures are my own and vice versa. He's got my back and he's in my corner. I married up and don't take it for granted. By God's grace we're building a love story for the ages. We waited ten years to start a family because honestly I wasn't sure I wanted a biological baby.
Boy was I wrong.
Caleb is four and his "leadership skills are rather advanced", he has a "refined palate" and he's very "direct." Read: stubborn, picky and bossy.
When Caleb turns to me to say: "Mommy, I love you, NO MATTER WHAT," my heart melts into a puddle of emotional Nutella; he is the sweetest part of life.
He has no idea how much he needs to mean that. We might forgo a college savings plan for Caleb and just tell him instead we will pay for whatever counseling he needs as a DPK (that's double pastors' kid because he's got two parents in ministry).
I'm ambitious, love starting things (Baby Bow Tie & Polished Ministries), and I'm not afraid to ask. There is just something about the thrill of a new challenge that fires my engine. But I've never accomplished anything on my own. There is a tribe around me supporting my efforts--I've got a whole lot of help. It's taken a decade for me to settle into myself and enjoy the way I am wired. Correspondingly, the grace I give myself has led to a deep conviction that we are all made in the image of God. We all love God and others in different spheres, but it's all equally important. No role, job, or relationship defines us. Jesus does. So I'm a Jesus girl.
My cheerleading coach and choir teacher shared the gospel with me, and at the age of 16 I became a Christian. A few years later my friend Becky (the beautiful) invited me to my first small group bible study, and that Beth Moore Bible study changed the course of my life. The Holy Spirit birthed in me an insatiable desire to study the scriptures; I geeked out to find that there are graduate schools that teach you to study the Bible because I'd never heard of seminary. My first question was: "can girls go to seminary?"
Well, kind of. It took me eight years to finish a two year degree (Masters of Christian Education). Just a shy under a decade counts for something. I started as a student at Dallas Theological Seminary in my 20's and graduated in my 30's. DTS and the brilliant professors that invested in my training are a large part of my spiritual formation. In 2009 I took a class with Dr. Glenn Kreider that changed my relationship with Christ forever. He taught me about the depths of God's grace that exists outside of karma. Glenn's teaching exposed my shallow cravings for karma and he challenged me to embrace the truth of God's word concerning grace. Aaron and I both graduated in 2011.
When Stephanie Giddens invited me into her dream-building I had no idea what adventure awaited us to co-found Polished. But it didn't matter cause when Steph has an idea you just huddle up to listen to her play call. I've devoted almost a decade of my life to sharing the gospel with young professional women and equipping young professional women to share the gospel through Polished. And here's what I know from my innovating adventures: our future is bright. The next generation has proven to be the most willing generation to share the gospel, statistically speaking, and I've seen this up close. Millennials, I'm your mega fan. You have my heart. My assignment, to lead as Executive Director of Polished, is teaching me more about God's passion to bless all nations. This is a treasured gift. Give me a mic and you can count on me to testify about the youngers rising up to take their place, as I want to be in their corner cheering them on.
Everything in this little space on the internet is coming from a place of radical, dare I say, zealous desire for you to know The Big Story. My views are solely my own and not a reflection of Polished, Dallas Bible Church or Dallas Seminary.
When I'm not working full time with Polished you can find me speaking about Jesus. I come alive teaching God's word and I'd love to come and speak to your group. You can find out more about that here.
God's providence allows broken people like me to share the story of restoration. All is grace.